Pull iTunes App Categories via Bash

I love bash one-liners. Here’s one it took me a bit to get just right that will pull the Category of an app based on the URL of the app.

curl -s 'https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/self-service-mobile/id718509958?mt=8' | grep -Eo '"applicationCategory":.*?[^\\]",'

If you don’t already have the URL for an app, it can be obtained via a lookup using

curl https://itunes.apple.com/lookup?id=718509958

If you’ll be performing these kinds of operations en masse from within server-side scripting, Apple has a number of programs, including the Affiliate Program, which allow you to do so more gracefully. But as a quick and dirty part of a script, this could solve a need. More importantly, hey, parse some json from bash without piping to python or perl or whatevers… Enjoy!